I think I first found Siobhan on the ever-giving wondrous blog of Beth Maiden at littleredtarot.com. I am always ready to learn, and Siobhan's writing about tarot, life, and one of my favorite articles about how to be an earnest ally.
If you haven't yet, go to her website and just start reading. She's insightful, funny and I have a gigantic crush on her. That's probably not relevant, but here we are. :)
Siobhan filled out the questionnaire for us. I hope you take the time to get to know her and her wonderful work.
What you appreciate the most in your friends.
I love how friends can show you when you’re full of it. We go through life believing all kinds of nonsense and if it weren't for trustworthy bystanders willing to call us out on it, where would we be? It’s especially interesting to hear old friends from years ago mirror back who you were, oh say, a decade or two ago. This can be real eye-opening. They often see qualities that you can't. And they sometimes see qualities that are no longer there, showing you how far you've come. There are few better reminders of the roles we play in life and how impermanent those roles really are. When these friends are maintain similar interests over they years and grow with you, you’re kinda set.
Your idea of happiness.
Happiness is the soft explosion in the mouth when I bite into The Delicious Thing, and I lose myself in all its parts. It’s the pleasant smell wafting up. It’s the party on my tongue. And it’s also the slight swelling in my throat and face when The Delicious Thing trips the alarm in the body that says don’teatthatdonteatthat. The subsequent discomfort. It’s the year I spend remembering The Delicious Thing, but not eating it. It’s the memory of having eaten it. It’s other things too of course, but the pattern often repeats of consumption, alarm, memory, abstinence. It’s kind of a trap. I’ll be damned if it isn’t entertaining though.
Your idea of misery.
Misery is believing that I am the voice in my head. Making that voice my world and my god. Living closest always to thoughts. Misery is believing my “self.” Misery is forgetting that happiness, and everything else in reality, ends. It’s trusting the fearful stories I tell in my head about what it means that everything ends.
Your favorite colors and flowers.
I’m partial to the teal of rainbow obsidian. I’m partial to the purple in amethyst after you rinse it in cold water, the same purple you find in sunsets in Texas in August alongside outrageous corals. I like the corals too. I don’t know how to feel about flowers. I think I like the ones that smell like a whisper instead of a shout. Does that count?
Your favorite poets.
Oh man. Some of my favorite poets are random people I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing live. A guy named Zev. Another named Matt. Someone who went by Mira from Cali. Intikana. Sierra. You probably mean poets everybody might know. Right. A different kind of timeless. Langston. Angelou. Dickinson. William Carlos Williams. Saul the-other-Williams. The truth is, I haven’t read enough poems to answer this question. I’ve forgotten the names of more poets I loved than I remember. It would take a lifetime of study to answer in earnest and now and then I wonder if that’s what I ought to be doing with myself even right now…
Your heroes/heroines in fiction.
Aeon Flux is my hero. She’s an animated character created by Peter Chung from a show that used to come on late at night in the 90s on MTV. She’s queer, intense, kinky and generally sexually expressed, and utterly liberated. What does she even stand for? Chaos? We never find out. Does she even know? She’s as complex as reality. She’s impermanent. (Except she keeps coming back!) She’s like the Tao incarnate (if it was a fetish).
What role does divination play in your life?
Divination sets people at ease with how much of them I’m seeing. I have one of the oddest tarot origin stories. I started off using tarot to turn off unwanted information I seemed to be picking up about people. About every five years or so, the story of my tarot practice changes. The one constant is the first thing I mentioned and lately it, it meaning my tarot practice, sets people at ease. Full stop. It does the same for me. Especially when I’m crazy stressed and need some perspective.
Your heroes/heroines in real life.
This changes periodically but right now Shonda Rhimes is my patron heroine. I read her book, “The Year of Yes” having seen none of her shows and having no idea who she was or why she mattered. It’s a book about a writer with anxiety. THAT’S ME. Well, I mean mostly. The idea that she could move through that much fear and create things that inspire (and represent) sooooo many people is astounding. Once I read her story I felt I could no longer act like I had a reason not to create.
What is your present state of mind?
Recognition. I sometimes go through this awkward experience where I stop believing a whole bunch of stuff at once and don’t quite know what I’m left with. It’s confusing as all get out and comes with a whole host of thoughts and emotions rushing in to tell me What I’m Left With. I’m in the state where I’m recognizing my separation from the rushing thoughts etc. While here, I know the longer I hold them off and keep the confused empty and frankly uncomfortable space vacant, the closer I get to reality without my bullshit. *wonders if that’s even going to make sense…* To be clear, this recognition state is For The Best.
What is your favorite tarot deck or divination tool?
I’m partial to the Thoth deck. Because it’s most literal. It’s like my Aspy deck. But then there’s CBD Marseille which I think is really elegant and also the St. Croix, which always feels familiar somehow. It’s one of those, maybe. Do people really just have one favorite??
Your favorite songs?
I’m a sucker for movie soundtracks. My first blog ever was actually about how the Sneaker Pimps’ first album used classic James Bond samples and paid homage to the cult classic, “The Wicker Man.” (It was as geeky as it sounds…)
What is your favorite word?
Impossible. But in Spanish. It sounds like a lewd taunt doesn’t it? I hear it and want to know where it’s going, like a stranger ordering a drink at a bar and that I’ve never heard anyone else order, and it happens to be my favorite drink (you know, back when I still drank).
What is your least favorite word?
My least favorite words lately are the reactive ones. The angry little poems I sometimes write to make a case for my right-ness. They’re beautiful and all. But lately I’m wondering what would happen if I made my words a holy ground where nothing was destroyed, and everything was created instead.
What sound or noise do you love?
I prefer pentatonic scales. If we have to talk heptatonic, I prefer the minor chords. So I like trip hop and blues and angsty music that isn’t particularly good but I need it in my life BECAUSE IT HAS THOSE SOUNDS IN IT.
What sound or noise do you hate?
I don't prefer music engineered based on statistical trends; especially when it plays on the radio for the second time in ten minutes in an attempt to cull me into some kind of biochemically manipulated submission. Rather than elevate the musical elements that it includes, it sounds almost like it mocks them. I’m probably missing all kinds of good music avoiding the radio. (I may never know.) Is this me dating myself? I remember when the grown-ups said things like this about my music… I also don’t prefer the sound of a crying chihuahua. It’s cross between a dolphin and a velociraptor and it is truly terrifying.
What turns you on?
You mean like sexy-time? Is this a sexy-time question?! I’m half wavering between asexuality and wanton perversion. I’d be lying if I left out the reaction I have to particularity complex and subtle psychologically dark power dynamics in anime I enjoy. ::guiltface:: If I say more I’ll probably freak one some of you out…
What turns you off?
I think it’s gross when folks want to engage intimately without consciousness. A person who engages another while outside of their own body is like nails on a chalkboard. *shivers
What is your favorite curse word?
Bullshit is my favorite right now. It’s the only word I struggled to put down when I was still working with kids. My lips would purse together to prep for the “b” sound, and I’d just say “hmmmmmm” really awkwardly. Luckily, I don’t think they ever caught on. Except when I played the card game of the same name with them at the end of the year… (They already knew the word and we didn’t say the whole thing!! Don’t judge me!!) It’s been potent to call bullshit on myself lately. And before that, it felt powerful to call it on everybody else. I’m your typical Queen of Swords, fantasizing that I get to lord over the truth. Hah!
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Nothing. I’d take a knowing glance. People say enough as it is without bringing All-That-Is into it. I am SUCH an introvert.